In preparation for the Rose Bowl on January 1 (in which Ohio State Buckeyes beat Oregon Ducks 26-17), the opposing fans held separate pep rallies in Santa Monica. The Ducks Pep Rally was Wednesday, December 30, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the Santa Monica Pier 1550 lot and the Ohio State University Buckeye’s Beach Bash took place on Thursday, December 31, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., also at the Santa Monica Pier 1550 lot.
Local businesses hoped the surge of people would reflect a rise in sales. Traditionally when there’s an event of this nature the Santa Monica’s shops and hotels experience a rise in sales. Yet sales remained steady compared to last year around Santa Monica and few spikes were seen in sales.
James Crist, a Duck fan and manager of Jamaica’s Cakes, appreciated the tons of Duck fans coming to Santa Monica but said his shop had no increase in sales due to the crowds. Jinky’s Café’s Heather Olson confirmed extra customers but due to the New Year rather than the sport event prep rally.
Many of the local Santa Monica hotels experienced more guests than usual but the increase was hardly noticeable. Kimbell Deener, manager of the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel described the Ducks Pep Rally having neutral impact on the hotel’s visitors. “It appeared to be more crowded but it didn’t have a positive or negative impact on our hotel”. Despite the fact that the pep rally organizers said they have never seen such crowds on the pier in 100 years the Holiday Inn Hotel had an average crowd of Duck fans, according to the hotel’s staff member Alex Rumbo.
Compared to previous years Big Dean’s Ocean Front Café staff Mary Francis Bonvini believes that having fans from both teams, might have impacted the size of extra crowds on the pier as well. “For a rainy day we were definitely busier. It was good for us,” said Francis.
Though the traditional spending habits have changed it appears last year’s 2009 Rose Bowl pep rally spirit of dedicated fans is here to remain.
Contact Marissa Bojiuc